Saturday, September 23, 2023

Facebook, Twitter Censor Terms Like ‘Illegal Alien’

‘The new policy is needed to clear away the progressive efforts to hide the identities of illegals [who] break the law inside the United States…’

Social Media Giants Appear Before Congress, Refute Allegations of Political Bias
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey/IMAGE: Fortune Magazine via Youtube

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Even as the chief officers of social media giants Facebook and Twitter denied under oath before Congress that they showed bias toward conservatives, a preponderance of evidence suggests the contrary.

Aside from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s acknowledgement of the site’s political leanings, and the complaints coming from hundreds of Facebook workers about company culture, one way the sites have stacked the decks is in the language that they use to define ‘hate speech’ on their respective ‘community standards.’

The Center for Immigration Studies, a pro-enforcement nonprofit, said in a press release Wednesday that Twitter had rejected four of its tweets to be used in an ad campaign, alleging hate speech for their use of the terms “illegal alien” and “criminal alien.”

While the tweets were permitted on the platform, the ad campaign would have amplified their reach to a broader audience.

“Organizations of all kinds pay Twitter to promote specific tweets in order to drive traffic to an organization’s website,” said the press release.

“Twitter advertises that the ads ‘can get you more likes, amplify your message, and get more people talking about the things that matter to you most – your cause, project, business, or brand.’ This is exactly why the Center selected these specific tweets to be placed as ads.”

Twitter’s guidelines do not mention immigration status as being grounds for violation.

However, the company states in its “hateful conduct” policy that it bans “behavior that incites fear about a protected group.”

By most logical accounts, illegal aliens would be the opposite of a “protected group” since they are, by definition, those who have violated federal immigration law.

After first unveiling its codified community standards in April, Facebook has recently  promoted them on the platform, as if to put on users on notice about an imminent censorship push.

It begins its “hate speech” definition by essentially listing all of the protected categories in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (along with a few extra, 21st-century, politically correct flourishes): “We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.”

Then, as an afterthought, it tosses out one more: “We also provide some protections for immigration status.”

Because the language is made perfectly vague, who could blame one for assuming terms like “illegal alien” that are defined and used by the government, would be acceptable language on social media?

The company has attempted to dodge the question by contracting with independent “fact checkers,” ignoring the fact that they also have demonstrated anti-conservative bias.

Although PolitiFact, a leftwardly skewed site that Facebook consults to justify its censorship, has qualified the government’s use of  the term “illegal alien” as a “half truth,” the Justice Department pointedly clarified the meaning of the phrase and explained its function as legal terminology in a July memorandum from the DOJ public information office.

As Breitbart pointed out, the Obama-era push by media outlets to induct “undocumented resident” into the politically correct canon has less legal precision than the term “illegal alien.”

Said the Breitbart article: “The new [DOJ] policy is needed to clear away the progressive efforts to hide the identities of illegals [who] break the law inside the United States. For example, in March 2017, an illegal immigrant killed three Americans in an auto crash, but the Associated Press merely described the migrant as ‘A man arrested in an Ohio van crash.'”

Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg
Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg/IMAGE: WH.gov via Youtube

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who struggled to define “hate speech” in an April Senate hearing, has been particularly zealous in his pro-immigration activism.

He may be exercising Facebook’s prerogative as a private company to establish and enforce his own guidelines, but doing so nevertheless leads down a slippery slope toward suppressing conservative speech in favor of politically correct doublespeak.

Because Facebook also maintains a secret rating system for its users based on how others flag their content, the “hate speech” policy could also mean that using statutory immigration language would provide justification not only for censorship of a specific post, but also for shadow-banning or outright banning users as a result.

Both Facebook and Twitter recently used their nebulous and subjective community standards to oust InfoWars host Alex Jones over accusations of “hate speech” and “inciting violence.”

Many now see them as setting the stage for more Draconian purges, particularly if Zuckerberg were to throw his hat into the political ring.

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